Rural water supply and sanitation (RWSS) coverage in Swaziland: Toward achieving millennium development goals


E.J. Mwendera


An assessment of rural water supply and sanitation (RWSS) coverage in Swaziland was conducted in 2004/2005 as part of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI). The initiative was developed by the African Development Bank with the aim of implementing it in the Regional Member Countries (RMCs), including Swaziland. Information on the RWSS sector programmes, costs, financial requirements and other related activities was obtained from a wide range of national documents, including sector papers and project files and progress reports. Interviews were held with staff from the central offices and field stations of Government of Swaziland (GOS) ministries and departments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), bilateral and multilateral external support agencies, and private sector individuals and firms with some connection to the sector and/or its programmes. The assessment also involved field visits to various regions in order to obtain first hand information about the various technologies and institutional structures used in the provision of water supplies and sanitation services in the rural areas of the country.

The results showed that the RWSS sector has made significant progress towards meeting the national targets of providing water and sanitation to the entire rural population by the year 2022. The assessment indicated that rural water supply coverage was 56% in 2004 while sanitation coverage was 63% in the same year. The results showed that there is some decline in the incidence of water-related diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases, probably due to improved water supply and sanitation coverage. The study also showed that, with adequate financial resources, Swaziland is likely to achieve 100% coverage of both water supply and sanitation by the year 2022. It was concluded that in achieving its own national goals Swaziland will exceed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, such achievement is subject to adequate financial resources being made available for the RWSS sector.


Click here to view the article.